In cards, while gambling there is a golden rule, which is one should know when to hold and when to fold.
In fifties and sixties China was ruled by Mao. His policies kept Chinese poor. For maintaining hold on people, he created bogey of foreign enemies. Number one was America against whom he fought Korean War and won. He kept the war rhetoric going and practically every day a warning was issued to USA. These were serially numbered. Hearing them was quite amusing, with warning number 985 and so on. He spoiled relations with all his neighbours except Pakistan and N Korea. This was “1984” of George Orwell. He grabbed Tibet, and used land of India’s Akshai Chin for building a road which supplied his troops there from Xinjiang.
Slowly this grab was noticed by Indian leadership and they protested. Mao had never forgiven Indians for giving shelter to Dalai Lama and his followers. He assessed Indian leadership, found them weak, and attacked India in 1962 to teach it a lesson. India’s leadership capitulated and remained under Chinese thumb for decades. This remarkable victory hid the misery and starvation deaths of Chinese populace.
Then came next leader Deng Xio Ping. He tangoed with America and took his country to great heights of prosperity. He didn’t give any freedom to it’s people but allowed them to fully enjoy the prosperity. He found that Vietnam is getting bigger for its boots. The formula of 1962 India was applied to Vietnam. The Time magazine on its cover wrote “Emperor Deng chooses to strike”. This time a grave miscalculation was done. Vietnamese retaliated strongly and china virtually lost the war. This defeat was cleverly camouflaged by Chinese leadership. Deng afterwards never disturbed his neighbors militarily and took china to very high levels of prosperity.
To make sure there is never any new Mao or Deng, lifetime ruler, their politburo made a rule that no one can rule for more than two terms.
Then came Xi Jinping with different ideas. He amended the earlier rule and appointed himself as a lifetime chief. But he had to show his people the necessity for it so he started border disputes with his neighbors, again all except Pakistan and N Korea. He had skirmishes with India at Doklam and other places, increased tensions at South China Sea, rubbed Japan, Vietnam US Australia etc. Then he came with his masterstroke, Chinese troops entered Ladakh region, claiming land under Indian control as theirs. THIS MAY TURN TO BE Xi’s UNDOING. He miscalculated about Modi, who ever since coming to power, has been concentrating on strengthening armed forces against China. Special attention had been paid to infrastructure, roads, tunnels, bridges etc. In present case Indian troops asked Chinese to move back, they didn’t, and a bloody scuffle broke out in which about twenty Indians died and over forty Chinese are supposed to have met same fate. Now both troops are facing each other, Indian side is authorised to shoot if necessary, talks are going on between army and civil officials, without outcome.
Within weeks India will get Rafale jets and will have edge in skies.
If war breaks out Chinese won’t find it like 1962. Indian leadership is mentally prepared and that’s the difference. Xi must understand that world has changed since last war.
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